Friday, September 23, 2016


When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick respectfully took a knee during the playing of the national anthem, he did it to protest oppression against minorities in this country. It did not surprise me that the PINOs - Patriots in Name Only - totally lost their shit. Idolatry is strong in our country as we have foolishly deified such things as the national anthem and our flag and ignored what they stand for.

Confession. I’m not really sure what “The Star-Spangled Banner” stands for. It’s a frankly terrible song written by a racist and a slave-owner who may not even have been a first-hand witness to the events he was writing about. I can ruefully ignore the racist and slave-owner tags, if only in part, because, at the time “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a racist or a slave-owner. For the record, I do not condone the swinging of cats, dead or alive. However, the awfulness of our national anthem remains as does the seeming dishonesty of its writer. If he were alive today, he would probably be the official musician of Fox News. But I digress.

Kaepernick meant no disrespect to our veterans. The claim that he did is more absurd perceived victim-hood from the usual right-wing politicians and pundits.

The PINOs lose their shit over our flag as well. If a politician isn’t wearing a flag lapel pin, they can count on their patriotism being questioned. When someone burns a flag in protest, which I see as one of the highest expressions of the freedom our country stands for, the politicians and the pundits and our low-information fellow citizens demand said protestor be arrested and suffer gulag-level “justice” for the act of protest. Because these politicians and the pundits and low-information fellow citizens haven’t the first clue as to what the flag stands for. Nor do they have the desire to see our country live up to those standards.

At times like this, I am reminded of the greatest political speech ever to appear on screen. The speaker is President Andrew Shepherd [Michael Douglas] in The American President:

America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".

The flag is not important. What is stands for is.

The national anthem...well, it’s not important because it doesn’t seem to stand for much beyond celebrating a battle instead of what our country means to us and to all those millions of people around the world who look to us for hope in these most desperate of times. I’d like to see “The Star-Spangled Banner” discarded and replaced with a better anthem...or maybe even a rotating number of anthems that better express our country’s highest ideals, the ideals which we should constantly strive to achieve instead of retreating into jingoism and fear of those who are not exactly like us.

I admire Kaepernick and all who have joined his protest against the undeniable oppression of black people and other minorities in this country I love. That’s what America stands for.

I’m Citizen Tony and I approve this message. 

© 2016 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I posted this on my own FB page, but I'll do so again here with your permission, Tony.

    If you're more upset by the protest than you are the injustices that prompted it, your priorities are seriously screwed up.

    David Peattie